I inherited economic problems - Obama

2011-08-09 09:59

Washington - US President Barack Obama said on Monday he inherited many of the country's problems with high debt and deficits when he entered the White House, sounding a theme likely to dominate his 2012 re-election campaign.

Speaking at a Democratic fundraiser, where families paid $15 000 to get a picture with him, Obama defended his economic record and noted that problems in Europe were affecting the United States.

"We do have a serious problem in terms of debt and deficit, and much of it I inherited," Obama said. The financial crisis, he said, made the problem worse.

Democrats and Republicans agreed to a deal to raise the debt ceiling and cut government spending last week, but credit rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the United States, contributing to a steep fall in stock markets on Monday.

Obama noted that the United States had seen 17 months of consecutive private-sector job growth, rising corporate profits and stabilised credit markets under his watch.

"What's absolutely true, even before these last couple days in the stock market, is that recovery wasn't happening fast enough," he said. "When you have problems in Europe and in Spain and in Italy and in Greece, those problems wash over into our shores," he said.

Fundamental debate

About 140 people attended the fundraiser, which was held at a private home.

Obama, who is ramping up his fundraising after taking a hiatus while the debt-ceiling debate raged in Washington, said the deficit issue would provide a clear contrast for voters in the 2012 race for the White House.

"What we're going to have is 16 months in which we debate this vision for America, and it's going to be as fundamental a debate as 2008," he said.

"In some ways it may be even a more profound debate because the contrast is going to be clear and it's going to be sharp."

Obama is pressing for Congress to extend a payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance to help boost the economy, but he expressed scepticism that lawmakers would get a lot done.

"As president of the United States my job is to work with Congress to try to get as much done as possible," he said.

Preview of recommendations

"Whether we're going to see any progress out of this Congress right now - because so far we haven't seen much when it comes to innovative ideas that actually put people to work and grow the economy - remains to be seen."

Under the debt-ceiling agreement, a "super committee" in Congress will find further ways to tackle the deficit in the coming months. Obama said on Friday he would outline his own recommendations for that committee.

At a separate event for potential campaign donors on Monday, Obama previewed what could make up those recommendations, saying revenues needed to be raised, the tax code would have to be reformed, and modest adjustments to the Medicare healthcare programme would have to be enacted.

  • iam.phonica - 2011-08-09 10:17

    Fixing the problems of the past and he couldn't even do many of the things he would have liked to do. Thanks to Bush and the long list of other War causes behind him.

      Werfbobbejaan - 2011-08-09 10:26

      Sounds like passing the buck to me, typical politician!

      Nebul - 2011-08-09 11:38

      @Werfbobbejaan & Logs01 Why don't you do some factual reading and then comment!! Too many people say too much with no thought whatsoever!!

      DoublySalmon - 2011-08-09 11:41

      Eish, it was the previous government's fault. He forgot to say, "Eish". Malema should visit to educate the man on when and how to use "Eish". If you don't accept full responsibility for the current state of things, even if you're not to blame, then you're not a leader.

      Met - 2011-08-09 11:46

      Inherited indeed, from his fellow democrat, Bill Clinton and then went on to worsen it. Obama is seen as the worst president in the last 100 years. First, America had Bob Hope. Then Johnny Cash. Now they have Obama- No hope and no cash

      Nebul - 2011-08-09 12:15

      Wow Met You are something special!! You also need do some factual reading and then comment!! Yet we wonder why we cannot achieve harmony in this land of ours. Too many extremists trying to rival each other

      online2590 - 2011-08-09 12:22

      you are too kind nebul. morons would be a better description

  • Logs01 - 2011-08-09 10:20

    Mmmm, Must be "Apartheids" fault? Previous "Regime"? Sounds so familiar!

      OnlyaGinger - 2011-08-09 10:38

      go take a jump- is your memory so short and fickle that you cant remember all the cr** that George Dubya bush caused in his 8 yrs??? Why make EVERYTHING about apartheid- this is US politics- you moron

      Phiwe - 2011-08-09 10:38

      well it's true! He inheritted an economy in crisis and was tasked with reviving it, a tougher job than when Bush first got the job from Clinton. Same applies to the ANC, they inheritted a lot of problems from apartheid, including a floundering economy, but they have turned the economy around because they seem to know economics better than their predecessors but it suffered a recession, not because of their wrongs but because of the interconnectedness of global markets and SA is the most exposed in Africa. Socio-economic problems have their roots in apartheid; they neglected to sort poverty out then because it wasnt their desire to, even HIV they only paid a lot of attention when it was a white population problem but as sooon as it was passed on to blacks (which ever way it was, I'm still wondering) it wasnt their problem and they neglected to do anything about it in the 80's. It's the truth. It's not blaming or passign the buck on, it's just the truth of the matter.

      Phiwe - 2011-08-09 10:43

      nothing is in a vacuum, everything did not start from scratch in 1994!

      JWock - 2011-08-09 11:22

      @Phiwe, I agree, he did inherit it, just as the ANC inherited a lot of social problems. The question though is how well are the plans being implemented, and how efficient are the plans. And I am speaking in both contexts.

      Met - 2011-08-09 11:55

      Shame, the blacks are all without exception all brilliant, honest people.Had it not been for colonialism or apartheid or fairy tales, Africa would have been the hope of the world, industrialised, scientifically advanced.Wake up you lunatic! Africa is backwards and getting worse after many years of "freedom" Under apartheid, Africans from the north streamed into SA. Why? Stop avoiding this question. Under the ravenous greed of the ANC regime, more have died in 15 years than in 50 under apartheid. No matter how you dance around this, it is a FACT

  • darquan - 2011-08-09 10:29

    For each baby that is born in the US, the government already has more than $200,000 of debt. This has been coming since the last great depression, and all that gets done is the debt ceiling is raised and raised. It is time they stopped wasting money and took care of this debt because the whole world is affected.

      JWock - 2011-08-09 12:04

      Problem is that each president is only there for 5yrs, or maybe 10, and for one president to take a stand and stop the rot - meaning cutting spending, raising taxes, would cause riots in their time, like there was in Greece. No president wanted to be the one to do that. In this case Obama is forced to do it, so he is the one who will have to take the fall for years of mismanagement.

  • sabc10 - 2011-08-09 10:38

    i wonder if he would admit to inherited negative qualities from his forefathers..?????? Typical american hypocrite.

  • Jack - 2011-08-09 10:49

    If you inherited your problems, then Bush must also have inherited his from Clinton. So Bush now gets blamed for Obama's problems. Go figure. All those bankers who lived high, and sent the world down the tubes, vote democrat.

  • meelo - 2011-08-09 11:20

    lol this is funny if only he stuck to what he said in the bigining when he said they will be bringing the troops home and shutting down Guantanamo, instead they sent more soldiers. not only did he inherite the debt his contributing to it, at the same time a charismatic liar

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-08-09 11:25

    Sounds very much like Jacob & dimwit-corrupt-Malema. Blame apartheid,the past. Never their own incompetentcy.

  • TRiP - 2011-08-09 11:28

    This is actually a lame excuse, so easy to pass the buck and shift the blame. OK, he inherited a problem, but when he campaigned to become the next US President, he knew exactly what he was taking on. I've never heard any of his predecessors whining.. Bush jnr never compained, Clinton never complained at the mess the Bush senior left behind, and a mess he did leave. Clinton fixed the economy, he brought their economy into the black which was a first for decades. So Obama, stop whinging and fix it.

      motsokwane - 2011-08-09 11:42

      "TRIPE",You are so stupid like your farther, you moron.David Cameron is moaning about the debts that Toe-Knee AND Gordon left him with to handle,hence you see London under fire.If you can learn to be true to yourself you will prosper.These things are real and affecting real life.Do not even try the race issue behind your stupid ears.

      TRiP - 2011-08-09 12:37

      motsokwane,you sound like a bucket abortion survivor, well I do congratulate you for surviving, thus far that is. Now Mr. Intelligence, where did I mention RACE in my post, please point it out?! And also Mr SUPER-ABSOLUTELY-NO-IQ, why are you on about the London riots? This article has absolutely jack about the London issue.. as they say in Afrikaans, "jy yik waar dit jik nie". You're so obsessed with race, it must hurt you every time you look at yourself in the mirror. I really pity you for the foolish bigot that you really are.

      motsokwane - 2011-08-09 12:52

      There's nothing more I will say to you than you are a waste of A WANK AND AN EGG.RETARD.

      TRiP - 2011-08-09 13:05

      That is because you lack the intelligence to argue successfully. Your father obviously created you by jerking off over a rock and baking you in the sun. Moron.

  • Slapper - 2011-08-09 11:39

    Inherenting the problems is not the issue. Doing something about them is. Obama has failed in practically every promise he has madeā€¦..Hmmm, reminds me of someone else.

  • sabc10 - 2011-08-09 11:56

    Obama has chickened out. He needs to punish the american bankers and wall street that caused this crisis.Instead he has avoided the main cause and the originators. Norway should take back the Nobel peace prize. The greedy americans need to lower their greedy lifestyles at the expense of the resto f the world.

  • colin.windell - 2011-08-09 11:56

    Sounds just like our politicians.....

  • a.bryanh - 2011-08-09 11:57

    You also compounded those problems massively,but remember...YES U CAN..RITE?

  • GSXA - 2011-08-09 11:57

    Mr Obama, is it not one of the qualities of a leader to find the solution, rather than aportion blame and highlight the problem? Me thinks you have become a lame duck president. Grab the bull by the horns and resolve the problem through innovative thinking and demanding results from those who have been entrusted with assisting you, or move over for someone else who is willing to make this paradigm shift.

  • Peed off - 2011-08-09 13:34

    Been listening to Malema and company - eish- it is all the fault of apartheid

  • WATCHMAN - 2011-08-09 14:55

    Perhaps you did, but you've just added to them and done nothing to try and resolve it. Just made it worse!

  • Olavin - 2011-08-09 15:19

    Obama got handed a hot potato, but because he did nothing about it he got burned. There was so much he could have done. He has no one to blame but himself.

  • Martin du Plessis - 2011-08-09 22:36

    Well, i can understand where he comes from, but making a re-election campaign out of "i couldn't help it, the previous ppl farked it up too badly" might not be the best one ever.

  • vandermerwe.martin - 2011-08-10 08:03

    Off cause yes, i'm innocent, like the rest in Africa.

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